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Hedge Maze Area Rug 


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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Written By: Sean Michael Ragan 



Carpet shears (1) 
Electric clippers (1) 
Measuring tape (1) 
X-Acto knifed) 

Carpet (1) 
Masking tape (1 roll) 


I saw an expensive designer "labyrinth" carpet like this in a catalog years ago, and wondered 
at the time if I could recreate the effect on the cheap by taking electric hair clippers to a 
piece of ordinary deep pile carpet. Long story short: It works! 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Step 1 — Measure, measure, measure 

• Record the following dimensions: 

• Length and width of your carpet. (Mine was 74x71".) 

• Length and width of the area you want the rug to fill. (Mine was 74x41".) 

• Width of your shaver head. (Mine was 1 .75".) 

• Width of your masking tape. (Mine was 1 .875".) 

• Write it all down, someplace. A spreadsheet will be handy for doing the math in the 
next step. 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Step 2 — Design your maze 

• Check that your piece of carpet is 
big enough to make the rug you 

• Check that your tape is at least as 
wide as the head of your clipper. 
They don't have to be exactly the 
same, but should be within 1/4" of 
each other. 

• Divide the length and width of the 
area you want to cover by the width 
of your tape and round to the 
nearest odd integer. In my case: 

• X = 7471 .875" = 39.47 (39) 

• Y = 41"/ 1.875" = 21 .87 (21) 

• Design a maze on a square grid 
that is XxY units (39x21 , in my 
case). You can design it by hand 
on paper or in software, or you can 
generate it procedurally. I used the 
program Daedalus to generate 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Step 3 — Lay out cutting grid 

• A smooth floor will make cleanup much, much easier. Pick the best corner of your carpet 
to start from. 

• Adhere a strip of tape all the way along one edge of the carpet. If one side of your design 
is longer than the other, lay out the longer dimension first. 

• Add a small "spacer" strip of tape at each end of the long strip to gauge the spacing for the 
next strip. 

• Repeat the process, adding full strips and spacers, until the total number of rows (full 
strips and spacers both included) equals the number of units in your maze's shorter 
dimension. The first and last rows should be full strips. 

• Repeat the process, as above, but along the other dimension, starting from the same 
corner, adding full tape-strips and -spacers until you have a complete grid covering the full 
area of your design. 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Step 4 — Cut out squares to form maze 

• Using a new, sharp hobby knife blade, cut out individual squares from the grid to form the 
corridors in your maze plan. 

• Peel up the cut-out squares with your fingers and discard them. 

• If your plan has walls on all four sides, and no wall or corridor is wider than one unit 

anywhere, you should be able to lay it out just by cutting single squares from this 

grid. Otherwise, you may have to add short sections of tape, here and there, to form "off 

grid" walls. 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Step 5 — Rough trimming 

• Plug in your electric clippers and start trimming away carpet pile from the corridor areas. 

• You may want to practice the technique on a piece of scrap carpet first. It's not hard to do, 
but here are some pointers: 

• Oil your clipper blades frequently. 

• Take a break every now and again to let the clippers cool off. 

• No downward pressure is required besides the clipper's own weight. 

• Watch the length of the carpet piles coming off in front of the blade to monitor the depth 
of the cut. 

• I tried using guide combs with my clippers to maintain a constant cut depth, but 
found them to be more trouble than they were worth. I'm pleased with my "free- 
hand" results, but you may want to experiment. 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

Step 6 — Cut to shape 

• Using the edge of the tape as a guide, cut the outside perimeter of the rug to shape using 
carpet shears or a utility knife. 

• My plan was designed to use the entire width of the piece of carpet I had 
purchased, so I only had to make one cut, as shown. Depending on your plan, you 
may have to make two perimeter cuts. 

Step 7 — Final touches 

• Remove the tape. Just grab it and pull. 

• Inspect the corridors for shallow areas, bumps, or other imperfections. Go back and touch 
them up with the clippers if necessary. 

• Clean up the trimmings. I picked the rug up and shook it out, swept up all the loose 
trimmings with a broom, and finished up by giving the rug a thorough vacuuming. 

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Hedge Maze Area Rug 

I fully expected the actual shaving would be the tedious part. In fact, the shaving process was 
pretty engrossing work and the time passed quickly. The tedious part was laying out the grid to 
start. I toyed with the idea of mounting a video projector on the ceiling to project the maze 
pattern on the carpet directly, but the tape-grid method won out for simplicity and accessibility. 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 12:48:14 AM. 

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